- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 11, 2005

D.C. United’s new big-dollar signing — Argentine central defender Facundo Erpen — might have to wait a little longer before he claims the central defender role if rookie Bobby Boswell keeps playing like he has.

The undrafted Boswell, who has been stunning all season, notched an early game-winning goal last night as United beat the MetroStars 3-0 before 11,883 at RFK Stadium.

“We are not going to hand the job to Facundo — he has to earn it,” said coach Peter Nowak of the club’s newest player. “Bobby did a good job today.”

Boswell’s strike came in the 11th minute after MetroStars midfielder Amado Guevara fouled Dema Kovalenko with a rash tackle from behind on the right flank, 10 yards outside the 18-yard box.

Christian Gomez took the free kick, curling it beautifully into the MetroStars’ 6-yard area. Boswell, completely unmarked, timed his run well and headed the ball just inside the net for his second goal of the season. It was similar to the one he scored against English club Chelsea in an exhibition last month.

“Anytime a player makes the team better it will make me better as well,” Boswell said of Erpen. “I look forward to seeing him on the training field.”

Kovalenko and Josh Gros added goals to extend United’s unbeaten streak to five games and earn the club its second consecutive three-goal game. But the victory was costly to United. Captain Jaime Moreno was red-carded and will miss the next game.

United should have made it 2-0 in the 30th minute, but veteran goalie Tony Meola pulled off a stunning save, stopping Kovalenko’s shot from seven yards out.

The MetroStars were down to 10 men at halftime when the combustible Guevara earned his second yellow card after decking Ben Olsen with an elbow to the back, forcing referee Terry Vaughn to show him the red.

The MetroStars lacked firepower and hardly bothered United goalie Nick Rimando in the first half, with only French World Cup star Youri Djorkaeff getting in a decent shot.

Meola came up big again in the 47th minute, saving Jaime Moreno’s chip. Seconds later, Eddie Gaven nearly rounded Rimando to give United a scare.

United finished off the visitors in the 77th minute when Jamil Walker, who had just replaced Gomez, unselfishly set up a goal for Kovalenko. The Ukrainian tapped home Walker’s pass for his second goal in two games.

“It’s exciting to score but most of all it gave us three points,” said Kovalenko.

United midfielder Santino Quaranta, who was named yesterday to the U.S. team’s roster for the World Cup qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago in East Hartford, Conn., on Aug. 17, played a blinder, with American coach Bruce Arena watching from the director’s box. The Baltimore native was just a few inches wide with a shot in the 55th minute after a nice give-and-go passing sequence with Olsen.

On the one-hour mark, Moreno, United’s leading goal scorer, was ejected from the game after pushing down Gaven just outside the box. He will now be suspended for Saturday’s game against Chivas USA at RFK. It was only the Bolivian’s second red card in 10 years of play.

“Tonight I didn’t score but I helped get two goals for us,” said Walker who also assisted on Gros’ goal and will likely replace Moreno for United’s next game.

United piled on the pressure and Gros scored a late goal, rounding defender Jeff Parke and adding to Meola’s misery.

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